Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today the education ministry would soon take some important decisions on the Grade-five scholarship examination and the GCE O/L examination and that a new Education Act would be introduced in January.
He said the ministry was discussing whether to continue with the two exams on the basis that these exams had placed a heavy burden on the students and the parents.
At an awareness programme held for zonal education directors regarding the distribution and implementation of cash vouchers for students to buy school uniforms, the minister said the shortcomings in the education sector would be addressed through the new Education Act.
“Several countries in the world have done away with challenging exams such as GCE O/L and Grade-five scholarship exams which impose a mental pressure on the students and parents as well. We have still not decided on anything yet, but a decision will be taken on the two exams after speaking to educationalists,” the minister said.
He said cash vouchers would be distributed by the ministry to students countrywide beginning November 29 while the issuing of cash vouchers to students to buy school uniforms would take place from December 1 to December 3.
The minister said the cash vouchers between Rs.450 and Rs.1,700 would be given to all students from grade one, including student monks.
"The students stand to benefit because the value of the vouchers exceed the market price of the material. Although the vouchers carry more value than the market price, the government stands to save at least Rs.500 million,” he said.
The minister said the decision to issue cash vouchers was taken by the Prime Minister’s sub-committee for Economic Management because of several complaints received on the shortcomings with regard to the quality of the product and the distribution procedure.
"Now they can buy quality material from any shop in any part of the country. It will help local textile shop owners as well. We held discussions with Sathosa and Salusala. They will be selling uniform materials at a fair price. Rs.2,300 million was allocated in 2014 for school uniforms for 4.2 million students in 2015. During previous government this uniform programme was riddled with corruption. However, this government will leave no room for corruption,” he said. (Piyumi Fonseka)
Video by Amantha
Comments - 1
lkboy Saturday, 28 November 2015 09:48 AM
Scholarships exist in this country because there is a big division as popular and mediocre schools. First address that problem without denying the children a benefit.
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